Rashod Taylor is a fine art and portrait photographer whose work addresses themes of family, culture, legacy, and the black experience. He attended Murray State University and received a Bachelor's degree in Art with a specialization in Fine Art Photography. Since then, Rashod has exhibited and published his work across the Midwest. Most recently, he showed his tintype photographs in the “mobile” photography exhibition for the Midwest Chapter of the Society for Photographic Education Conference in Madison, Wisconsin. He is currently working on a series called Little Black Boy, where he documents his son’s life while examining the Black American experience and fatherhood. He lives in Bloomington, IL, with his wife and son.
"My work addresses themes of race, culture, family, and legacy and these images are a kind of family album, filled with friends and family, birthdays, vacations, and everyday life. At the same time, these images tell you more than my family story; they’re a window onto the Black American experience. As I document my son I am interested in examining his childhood and the world he navigates. At the same time these images show my own unspoken anxiety and fragility as it pertains to the wellbeing of my son and fatherhood. At times I worry if he will be ok as he goes to school or as he plays outside with friends as children do. These feelings are enhanced due to the realities of growing up black in America. He can't live a carefree childhood as he deserves; there is a weight that comes with his blackness, a weight that he is not ready to bear. It's my job to bear this weight as I am accustomed to the sorrows and responsibility it brings, the weight of injustice, prejudices, and racism that has been interwoven in our society and institutional systems for hundreds of years. I help him through this journey of childhood as I hope one day this weight will be lifted." - Rashod Taylor
Black Artists Invitational
The Cornel/Henry Art is thrilled to present our selection for the inaugural 'Black Artists Invitational' exhibition showcasing two outstanding emerging black visual artists from US, with 100% of the proceedings supporting the artists involved. Our 2020 selected artists are:
Rashod Taylor (Bloomington, Illinois) and Aris Holmes (Akron, Ohio)
Aris Holmes is an African American fine artist based in Akron, Ohio. In 2018, She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Studio Art from the University of Akron. In 2020, she graduated with a Master of Fine Arts in Digital Arts from Bowling Green State University. Aris' portfolio includes a diversity of media and artistic styles. From cartoons to surrealistic composites, her work exists in an eerie space. An example of such work is her series entitled Zemblanity, which explores the concept of the loss of innocence.
"The loss of innocence refers to the increase in awareness of the sinister nature of the world that comes with time and experience. Zemblanity, coined by William Boyd, refers to the inevitable discovery of what we would rather not know. The loss of innocence is mostly achieved when an individual learns a lesson through a negative experience. No one intends to lose their innocence, but we accept it as a part of the growing-up process. In my work, I perform the internal and external experiences that have aided in my loss of innocence. These experiences are generalized into common concerns and condensed into loaded surrealistic imagery. Performing as a character allows me to achieve the duality of the personal and the impersonal (general). The characters in my work are physically me, yet they are conceptually considered to be others. The characters are performing scenarios that operate on a personal level (situations in which my innocence was lost) yet those unaware of my life story can connect to the narrative in a general way, connecting their own experiences. By using a physical clay mask of my own face, I distinguish between the different types of characters as well as their symbolic meaning, in this work that has been a journey of self-discover, pushing beyond my comfortable boundaries to perform for my work, baring my soul in front of the camera lens to connect to others." - Aris Holmes